Ah, scrunchies. You remember them from the 90s, and see them now along the ponytails of the infamous VSCO girls. What you may not realize is that kids are now using these thick and delightfully dated hair pieces for an entirely different purpose, and no, it's not just to keep their hair off their faces at recess. In fact, one mom issued a PSA about scrunchies to alert fellow middle school parents to the secret code, and what it means if you are constantly buying them for your pre-teen, or see them stacking up at your house out of nowhere.
On Sept. 25, Mom Emily Covington posted a photo of a stack of scrunchies she found in her laundry room on Facebook two weeks ago. "PSA to ALL MIDDLE SCHOOL GIRL MOMS!" her post began. "Are you tired of wasting money on hair scrunchies? Feel like you're buying them every week? Wondering why your daughter can't keep up with them?"
Covington went on to explain in her Facebook post that kids are actually using scrunchies to flirt now, offering them to other classmates they might have a crush on. "Well let me let you in on a little secret," she wrote on Facebook. "They are being found in the dryer of every boy Mom's home. I'm about to start a lost and found page for them on Facebook or better yet return them to school with a love note for me."
Her PSA, which now has over 36,000 likes and 47,000 shares on Facebook concluded that, essentially, it's "apparently ... cool to give your scrunchie to someone you think is cute." Her viral post also included a photo of several scrunchies, which she said is a "a stash that we have racked up just this week... so basically stop wasting your money and clogging up my dryer."
Earlier this month, Covington spoke with Good Morning America about her insider knowledge and how she cracked the secret scrunchie code. "One week there were all these scrunchies in the dryer," she told Good Morning America. "The first batch, I didn't think anything of and tossed them in the trash thinking it was a fluke or maybe even mine that I forgot. I said to my son, 'OK, what is going on?'" And that's when her son shared the intel. According to Covington, as she told Good Morning America, her son told her when "a girl likes a boy, she gives them her scrunchie... But I guess if a boy likes a girl, he gives her his hoodie."
And that insight checks out. As one person wrote on Twitter earlier this month, "A girl giving you her scrunchie to wear is THE equivalent of you giving her your hoodie to wear," while another tweeted out to the world, "i can have your hoodie and you can have my scrunchie!"
Tons of parents have also chimed in on the subject. As one mom commented on the photo, "So THIS is where all of my girls scrunchies are going?!?!" Another parent said, "Omg our girl came home with her boyfriend’s hoodie today and out of the blue said 'I want to get some scrunchies!' Now I know why!"
Whether it's scrunchies, sweatshirts, or the OG lettermen's jacket, it seems the time-honored tradition of trading accessories as signs of affection has not phased out. Hopefully the next trend is one that's a little easier on the dryer...